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‘Demolition Man’ Joins Modi Ministry

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President Ram Nath Kovind administering the oath as Minister of State to Alphons Kannanthanam

No stranger to Delhi where he was famous as the “Demolition Man”, bureaucrat-turned-politician K.J. Alphons has beaten all seasoned Kerala BJP leaders to become the first party leader from the southern state to become a Union Minister….reports Asian Lite News

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President Ram Nath Kovind administering the oath as Minister of State to Alphons Kannanthanam

With this, Kerala gest its first berth in the Union Cabinet.

Every move that the former IAS officer who quit service in 2006 to contest as a Left supported Independent candidate from state’s Kanjirapally assembly constituency has turned out to be successful, as after a five year stint as a legislator, he quit state politics and made a somersault – joining the BJP in 2011 and shifting base to Delhi.

He was immediately inducted as a National Executive Committee member, much to the surprise of many state BJP leaders and since then, has been silently working behind the scenes

This new post comes at a time exactly an year after he was first named Administrator of the Union territory of Chandigarh but dropped after opposition surfaced from local leaders thaA with Punjab going to polls, it would be better to have someone else.

He got the name of “Demolition Man” when he knocked down 14,310 illegal buildings in the mid-1990s when Commissioner of the Delhi Development Authority and stood his ground even after his wife and children came under attack.

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President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the newly inducted Ministers after a Swearing-in Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi

A member of the Roman Catholic Church, he is married to Sheela and they have two sons.

Alphons, who hails from Kottayam, was one of the toppers in IAS in 1979 and he has always made a mark in whichever post he held during his career. One of the glittering achievements was when he led the literacy movement in the state and made Kottayam town as the first 100 per cent literate town in the country in 1989.

Another achievement was as the Entrance Commissioner of professional examinations when he cleaned up the system and announced the results in a flash.

In a Facebook post, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated Alphons and said he hoped he will use the opportunity of the new assignment for the betterment of Kerala.

“Let him become the voice of Kerala in the Union cabinet. He can do a lot by coordinating the efforts of the Centre and Kerala for the state’s overall development. I wish my long-time friend and all others sworn in today (Sunday) all the best,” Vijayan said.

V.K. Mathews, who heads one of Kerala’s biggest IT product companies IBS Software Services, said: “Alphons, by virtue of being a former top bureaucrat and then a legislator along with the Left (2006-11) knows these sectors like the back of his hand. His induction will certainly benefit Kerala. Above all, he also enjoys good relations with the Chief Minister.”

M.R. Narayanan, a leading tourism honcho, said it was a good development for Kerala.

“He is a man with a lot of ideas and one who will listen. What Kerala needs now is a few mega projects to change the face of Kerala tourism.”

Alphons, who hails from Kottayam, was one of the toppers of the Civil Services Examination in 1979. He led the literacy movement in the southern state and made Kottayam the first 100 per cent literate town in the country in 1989.

His wife, Sheela Alphons, said she was sure her husband would do his best for Kerala.

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